News & Brews May 31, 2024

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Even a small voter impact of Trump verdict could be huge

Analysis is starting to pour in of how former President Trump’s guilty verdict in the New York hush money case might impact his chances in Pennsylvania in November. As many voters have already made up their minds about Trump long ago, some analysts speculate the impact may not be monumental in terms of votes. But in a state as closely divided as Pennsylvania, “even a small impact could make a big difference,” the Tribune-Review reports. Or, as one Shippensburg University political science professor said, “I think it does matter at the margins, and the margins are where it matters.” (Relatedly, POLITICO has more analysis at the national level.)

Pa. pols react to Trump verdict 

After former President Trump was convicted yesterday, reaction among Pa.’s elected officials was quick and, not surprisingly, divided along party lines. Democrats emphasized that the ruling indicates that no one is above the law, while Republicans called it a partisan attack and “a weaponization of our justice system.” Meanwhile, GOP state Rep. Russ Diamond (Lebanon County) tweeted, “Looks like I’ll be voting 34x harder for this fellow in November.”

Pro-McCormick super PAC reserves $30M in airtime

Keystone Renewal, the super PAC supporting Republican U.S. Senate nominee Dave McCormick, has reportedly reserved $30 million in television airtime in Pa. The New York Times reports, “The new reservation from the super PAC … comes on top of the $82 million that both sides have already spent on, or reserved in, campaign ads in the state, according to AdImpact, which tracks advertising purchases.” Super PACs are political action committees that can support or oppose particular candidates or issues but are not permitted to coordinate directly with political parties or candidates.

‘Follow the money: Pa. trial lawyers edition’

The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) tracks the influence of trial lawyers on Pennsylvania politics. Since 2017, more than $15 million has been donated to the trial lawyers’ two main political action committees in Pa.: Committee for a Better Tomorrow and LawPAC. Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform Executive Director Curt Schroder further explains, “The ATRA report provides a valuable service in identifying the big contributors to these PAC’s and the candidates who have benefited most from their largess. But this is not the whole story. The trial bar PACs also give to other trial bar related committees, such as Pennsylvanians for Judicial Fairness, PA Fund for Change, Fairness PA, Forward Together, and DT Pac. These PACs in turn donate the trial bar money they have collected to various candidates.”

Pennsylvanians spend >$300/month on utilities

According to a new report compiled by the company Angi (formerly Angie’s List), Pennsylvanians pay an average of $312.42 per month on utilities, ranking the 24th highest in the country. The report was based on various sources of data, including the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Dripfina, and the U.S. Census Bureau. The state with the lowest monthly average was New Mexico, at $247.62.

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